EXAIR Manufactures Cabinet Cooler Systems to Combat Heat

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The photo above depicts an autoclave with its computer control panel situated just above the opening. This particular customer uses their autoclave to process fish in a very controlled manner so they do not damage the meat while processing. The problem is that the controls for such equipment become overheated due to the simple process of the machinery to which they are attached. There are also critical times during the processing when the door is opened and heat as well as steam in this case waft out and up into the control box above, thus heating the components inside to a level that can cause intermittent or permanent failure.

Autoclaves are pressure chambers used within industrial processes needing higher temperatures and pressures than ambient air. They are only one example of machinery that associates the use of electronics on or near the heated portion of the “machine”. Other such examples are ovens, furnaces, steam turbines, metal casting machines, injection molding machines, extrusion lines and web processing lines.

Cabinet Cooler in steel mill
This Cabinet Cooler is installed above a hot steel processing line.

The thing that makes these kinds of applications sometimes difficult is the original decisions taken by the designer to locate the control panel in what they feel is the most appropriate and convenient place on the machine for the operators. However, as the photo above demonstrates, the heat generated by the process is sometimes the last consideration when trying to package everything in a nice, tidy package as well as to keep the machine foot-print of an already large item to be as small as possible. I’m working with the mindset that having a remote mounted control cabinet to keep the sensitive electronics away from the heat source would be the ideal situation. But as we all know, ideal isn’t always and most likely will not be what you are left to deal with.

So, when confronted with a similar situation, what is a controls engineer to do? That’s where EXAIR Cabinet Cooler system comes into play. EXAIR makes Cabinet Coolers to keep the temperature of those sensitive electronics down at a reasonable operating level for issues such as high process heat load as given above, or perhaps it is just a really hot summer and you are in a facility without air conditioning. We manufacture Cabinet Cooler Systems in NEMA 12, 4 and 4X configurations to cover a wide variety of application variables.

In the application above, we have recommended our Model 4825SS (NEMA 4X Cabinet Cooler System, 1700 Btu/hr., with thermostat control). The customer’s calculated heat load was approximately 600 Btu/hr. according to the data they provided. When I made the recommendation, I did take into account the periods where the heat will be billowing out of the autoclave as well, thus the reason for the recommendation of a unit one size larger than I would normally recommend. Not to worry though. The included thermostat control will maintain the cabinet temperature at 95°F (35°C) at all times without wasting precious compressed air.

If you have an application where computer controls for a hot process are overheating on you, kindly consider contacting one of our Application Engineers or check out our handy Case Studies today to have a better understanding of how an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System can help take away the heat and keep your processes humming along nicely.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com
@EXAIR_NR

 

Insulating a Cabinet Can Help to Reduce Overall Heat Load

Insulated Cabinet  Insulated Cabinet2

I was working with a customer the other day who had a control panel located in a very hot environment next to a steam turbine in a power plant. The panel already had a Cabinet Cooler System working to keep the internal space cooled. However, due to some faulty temperature data about the surrounding environment, the customer had underestimated the heat load required in the application. As a result, his control cabinet was running a little higher than he wanted it to in terms of temperature. His Target was 95°F but he was running a solid 105°F inside the cabinet.

After we discussed the application a bit further and he sent some photos of the Cabinet, I learned that there was a rather large, hot turbine, just inches away from this panel. I also determined that the customer had installed our Cabinet Cooler on the top of the panel and was feeding it with proper compressed air to allow it to work at full capacity.

This is where some thinking about other strategies when considering how to reduce heat load on a cabinet come into play. Namely, passive methods of adding insulation to the exterior of the panel as well as employing heat shields between the heat source and the cabinet. Both methods are good ways to passively reduce the amount of heat load that needs to be delivered from a Cabinet Cooler to the cabinet.

In this application, the customer not only insulated his whole panel, but also the in-coming compressed air line to keep the heat from the turbine from sinking in through the walls of the cabinet and the compressed air pipe. After he made the suggested changes, the customer was able to reduce his cabinet temperature by the needed 10°F to keep a safe, 95°F inside the cabinet.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com